On 6 April 2023, the lower chamber of the Tennessee State House took an unprecedented step – voting on the expulsion of three members who had violated floor protocols by joining an anti-gun demonstration during a lag in official proceedings. State representatives Justin Jones, Justin Pearson and Gloria Johnson briefly took a bullhorn to the well of the House to express solidarity and support for hundreds of students and others who had come to protest lax gun laws in the Volunteer State, in the wake of a mass shooting at a Christian school in Nashville the week before, that had left six dead, including three nine-year-olds.
Expulsions of legislators has been a rare thing in Tennessee, with only two since the Civil War, one for sexual misconduct and the other for bribery. But the three offending members who simply spoke out of turn were Democrats, currently in the minority, with Republicans holding a supermajority of 75-23 due to gerrymandered districting. Just three days after their “crime” the House voted to expel two of “the Tennessee Three”: not coincidentally, the two removed were young black men, while the older white female who had offended was allowed to retain her seat.
What can be said of such blatant racism and anti-democratic tactics?
Plenty, from an asteroid perspective. We’re blessed in this instance with having four of the five names in this story represented by exact asteroid matches: Jones, Pearson, Gloria and Johnson. The two Justins can be assigned to asteroids Justino, Justiniano and Justus (which also has a pleasant homophonic connection to the principle of “justice”). Let’s see how it stacks up.
With the Sun at 16 Aries on April 6th, conjunct Jupiter at 20 Aries, there was a potential focus (Sun) on matters of legislation and lawmakers (Jupiter); with asteroid House in square from 21 Capricorn, we’re directed toward Tennessee’s lower chamber, as opposed to its Senate. Asteroid Black at 26 Aries with the Sun and Jupiter suggests a racial component to the event, while TNO Eris at 24 Aries signals the discontent of the protestors and a fractious, squabbling atmosphere, as well as the attempt to marginalize opposition.
Asteroid Justino at 29 Cancer in square to Black identifies the two Justins, persons of color, who were expelled. Justino also opposes Pluto at 0 Aquarius, itself exactly conjunct asteroid Pearson, bringing devastating consequences (Pluto) for both legislators, but also potentially elevating their personal power (also Pluto). It’s certainly true that the expelled members are rapidly becoming national political stars, and garnering vastly more attention via their discomfiture than either could possibly have hoped to attain had they remained backbenchers of a marginalized Party.
There’s also a strong theme of martyrdom running through the chart. Neptune is the planetary ruler of that type of persecution, and here we have Neptune at 25 Pisces conjoined asteroid Justus at 22 Pisces and exactly opposed asteroid Justiniano at 25 Virgo. Just to be certain we get the racial overtones, the cosmos obliges with asteroid Brown at 18 Gemini, on the fulcrum of a T-Square. This becomes a full-fledged Grand Cross with the addition of asteroid Toro at 25 Sagittarius, representing the aggressive, bullying tactics of the GOP majority.
As well, asteroid Martir (phonetic match for “martyr”) at 9 Capricorn opposes a combination of asteroid Fanatica and Mars at 1 and 5 Cancer, with asteroid Jones on the fulcrum of another T-Square, at 3 Aries. We see here the persecution (Martir) of Justin Jones (Jones), in conflict with (square) gun (Mars) fanatics (Fanatica), simply for expressing solidarity with the protestors.
Speaking of which, asteroid Gunn (homophone of “gun”) at 13 Aquarius is squaring Uranus at 17 Taurus, planet of rebellion and protest, which prompted the anti-gun demonstrations that gave the GOP supermajority their excuse to expel two minority members. But note that Gunn also squares asteroid Nemesis at 11 Taurus – in seeing their fellow legislators as adversaries (Nemesis), Republicans may in fact be promoting their own ruin (also Nemesis).
Penalties at the State House for members of color who were enacting free speech rights can be seen in Saturn (ruling punishments and the government generally) at 3 Pisces, opposed asteroid Schwartz (German for “black”) at 5 Virgo, and sextile Mercury (speech) at 4 Taurus. But not so fast – with Saturn is Damocles at 2 Pisces, asteroid Nash at 6 Pisces, and asteroids Icarus and Pandora at 25 and 29 Aquarius. Nash identifies the event as occurring in the state capital of Nashville, Icarus suggests that the actions taken by the legislature were rash and reckless, heedless of the ramifications or effects; Pandora says they have unleashed a host of unintended consequences; and Damocles offers a potential doom or threat looming.
What of the legislator who survived the expulsion, Gloria Johnson? It’s apparent, and she herself has stated, that it was her skin color that saved her, but how is that reflected in the skies?
Jupiter and Venus to the rescue! These so-called “Greater” and “Lesser Benefics” swarmed to her defense, with asteroid Gloria at 11 Aries joining the Sun/Jupiter conjunction, also squared by asteroid Johnson at 17 Cancer. A solar activation surely highlights an individual, but that can go either way, for good or ill. But Jupiter in the mix promotes a positive outcome here. Moreover, asteroid White at 21 Taurus conjoins Venus at 24 Taurus, signaling a good day for Caucasian (White) women (Venus also). Asteroid NOT also here at 16 Taurus, a general disqualifier, says that Gloria Johnson will not be removed from office, while its inclusion in that Uranus/Gunn square identifies the protest (Uranus) as anti (NOT) gun (Gunn).
Pearson and Jones may not be unemployed for long. Jones could be back on the job as soon as Monday the 10th; the Tennessee State Constitution mandates that vacancies are filled by appointment from the local legislative body until a Special Election can be called, and Nashville’s Metro Council, governing the city which Jones represents, meets that day and could reappoint him. Regardless, both expelled members will likely run for election again in the Special Elections held to fill their seats, and given the incredible boost in name recognition and popularity among progressives which has just been handed them by Republicans, can anyone expect they won’t be victorious?
One comment, add yours.
It seems that Republicans are only in favour of free speech when they are doing the talking. So undemocratic! Thank you for covering this, Alex. The asteroids are amazing, as usual!